|Project by CClark86||posted 01-27-2014 01:21 PM||1327 views||3 times favorited||11 comments|
Shortly after getting engaged to my wife one of her uncles offered me slabs of 15 year old maple and walnut that he cut down off of his property from when he built his house. (Turned out one of the boards was oak after I started working with it) It wasn’t a lot of wood but it was almost enough to make a decent sized kitchen table. I knew I would need to either build or buy a kitchen table in about 9 months after my wife and I moved in together so I decided to go for making this my first serious woodworking project. Up until this table I had only made two batches of cutting boards so this was a long slow process as I had to practice and re-practice each cut, joint and tool that I would end up using. The table seats 6 comfortably and can squeeze in 8.
On the interior it is maple (two boards of which are heavily spalted) and oak from my uncle-in-law’s property. I purchased cheery boards to border that and inlaid a strip of walnut around the border between them. I hand cut dovetail keys in a decorative pattern and all the boards are tongue and grooved together and I added pegs into the cherry boards more for decoration than structure. I found mahogany cut offs for a good price and turned those into the legs. The legs are set at an angle and the runners underneath are walnut. I filled the gaps of the table with bar-top epoxy since two of the boards were extremely punky from the spalting and a couple had knot holes that run all the way through them. The effect turned out great as you can see through the knot holes to the floor and the spalted boards have rotted areas that give them depth. I had a family friend CNC the date of our marriage into one corner of the table and then finished everything with coats of BLO followed by Arm r seal high gloss. I ended up having to add the dowel supports between the legs for stability and it was not sturdy across the width.
The pictures are from immediately after finishing the table so the cherry boards don’t have the copper glow that they have now after a year. I fell in love with the natural contrast between cherry, walnut and maple after making this table so much so that all of my projects since have incorporated all three of the woods in some way. The table has held up well but the big mistake that I made was not to let the boards have room to expand and contract. The table has two cracks that run across the width of the interior that grow during the dry winter and disappear in the summer. Had no idea that was even a thing when I started this project but as my wife says, it gives it character. The other problem with the table is that when we have company over and stuff 8 people at the table the legs almost eliminate the leg room for the people sitting directly in front of them. You end up having to straddle the legs.
Still my favorite project so far.
-- Hobbyist Homebrewer, Woodworker, Glider Pilot. But only ever two at the same time.